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Jim Nolen : Asymptotic Spreading of Reaction-Diffusion Fronts in Random Media

Some reaction-advection-diffusion equations admit traveling wave solutions; these are simple models of a combustion reaction spreading with constant speed. Even in a random medium, solutions to the initial value problem may develop fronts propagating with a well-defined asymptotic speed. First, I will describe this behavior when the nonlinearity is the Kolmogorov-Petrovsky-Piskunov (KPP) type nonlinearity and the randomness comes from a prescribed random drift (a simple model of turbulent combustion). Next, I will describe propagation of fronts when the nonlinearity is a random ignition-type nonlinearity. In the latter case, there exist special solutions that generalize the notion of a traveling wave in the random setting.

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